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Your Top 10 Movies of 2008 (in progress)

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What are your top 10 favorite films that opened wide, or were introduced on DVD (in the U.S. & Canada), in 2008?

Edited by Overstreet

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Updated 12/21/08:

The Dark Knight

The Fall

Be Kind, Rewind

Son of Rambow

Surfwise

Diary of the Dead

In Bruges

Paranoid Park

Pineapple Express

Iron Man

Edited by J.R.

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Posted · Report post

Wow.

Dairy of the Dead sounds quite surreal. And creepy.

;)

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I wish I had something to add. My favorite movie has yet to be released in the U.S. Others have already been mentioned, although my list contains only a few of the mentioned titles. Several others won't be on my list.

One that might make it is Shine a Light. 4 Months was on last year's list for me, although it wasn't released here until Jan. 26.

Also, didn't we have this discussion in a separate thread somewhere around the year's halfway point?

Edited by Christian

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Yeah... I looked for that thread but didn't find it quickly enough. Patience ran out. I trembled and said a prayer, and posted a new thread.

Is this the thread you're referring to? It wasn't exactly a Top 10 thread.

Edited by Overstreet

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will probably make several top ten lists this year. It's a 1961 semidocumentary about a group of Native Americans living in Los Angeles. Over the course of an evening, we follow them from bar to bar, listen to their thoughts, and experience their displacement. The cinematography is absolutely stunning, and it offers a valuable look at what L.A. circa 1960.

A really fine film. Strongly recommended for those who liked Killer of Sheep.

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Is this the thread you're referring to? It wasn't exactly a Top 10 thread.

Yeah, that's the one. I'm glad you found it because it reminded me of a couple of films I'd already forgotten about! Sigh. My movie year has not been a good one, although it's had a few great moments. In general, however, it's a big comedown from 2007 -- which is fine; 2007 was a great year.

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DougC's been blogging about The Exiles.

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In the order I saw them:

  • 4 motnth, 3 weeks, 2 days (I always forget this one since I saw it in October)
  • Tell No One
  • The Band's Visit
  • The Visitor Probably my number one so far
  • Young @ Heart
  • Captain Abu Raed only at festivals
  • Red Like the Sky only at festivals
  • When Did You Last See Your Father?
  • The Dark Knight

hmmm. Only nine. Not a good sign. Some I might consider rounding it out: the Orphanage (does it count as this year); Days of Darkness (does it count as this year?); and Standard Operating Proceedure

Mid December and I might consider a few more: Rachel Getting Married; Synecdoche, New York; I've Loved You Son Long

Edited by Darrel Manson

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My in-progress list:

Wall-E

Man on Wire

The Dark Knight

In Bruges

My Winnipeg

Long Way Down

The Bank Job

Flight of the Red Balloon

The Visitor

Speed Racer

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Since I've only been to the theater a few times since January, my list:

Redbelt

The Fall

The Dark Knight

Wall-E

It's gotten to the point where I have to drive almost an hour to see any limited release or foreign/arthouse film. Hence the four titles.

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My in-progress list:

Wall-E

Man on Wire

The Dark Knight

In Bruges

My Winnipeg

Long Way Down

The Bank Job

Flight of the Red Balloon

The Visitor

Speed Racer

Yeah, Speed Racer and The Bank Job are on my list, as is Man on Wire. Still haven't seen The Visitor.

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One more for my second tier list: A Thousand Years of Good Prayers (release in Sept.)

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My list contains so far:

The Visitor

The Dark Knight

Flight of the Red Balloon

Wall-E

The Bank Job

The Orphanage

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Shine A Light

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Have seen far fewer films the first eight months of this year than in any of the years since I began keeping track. But I've seen a number I really enjoyed. In rough order...

Silent Light (June 8, Theatre

In Bruges (Mar 11, Theatre)

U2 3D (Mar 23, Theatre)

Son Of Rambow (May 27, Theatre)

Redbelt (May 19, Theatre)

Wall-E (Theatre)

Heima (Apr 18, Theatre)

The Great Debaters (Aug 29, DVD)

The Visitor (May 2, Theatre)

It's hard to imagine a year-end list that would not include the first two of those films, and I'll bet the third also makes my top ten. (Interesting: all three of those I saw twice in the theatre during their original run, which is quite unusual for me.) Beyond that, who knows.

(But I do think this thread should be collapsed into the already existing thread on this topic that Jeffrey linked to.)

Edited by Ron Reed

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Silent Light

Ron cheated, because this film didn't have a theatrical run in the U.S. nor had it been released on DVD. Otherwise I would've placed it first on my list.

Now that's changed, so I'm revising my list above. I take it that the N.Y. run makes the film eligible.

EDIT: Actually, for purposed of this list, Jeffrey wants us to consider films that "opened wide," so SL still doesn't qualify. :(

Edited by Christian

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Christian wrote:

: Ron cheated, because this film didn't have a theatrical run in the U.S. . . .

But it did have one in Canada, as per the introductory post to this thread. So no, he didn't cheat. (I've got your back, Ron!)

: Actually, for purposed of this list, Jeffrey wants us to consider films that "opened wide," so SL still doesn't qualify. :(

Are we only counting (presumably North American) wide releases and North American DVD releases? Hmmm, I wonder what that does to a film like 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, which opened across Canada in 2007 but not across the United States until 2008 (and was it ever really a "wide" release on EITHER side of the border?).

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Gosh, I had no idea that a film could be released in Canada but not the U.S. ::blush:: I thought "North American release," which is the term I'm accustomed to seeing, meant that a film was released everywhere in North America, or nowhere.

4 Months was never "wide" in the U.S. I'm thinking Jeffrey didn't mean for us to read too much into his use of the term.

HEY, I just Googled and discovered that this film is already out on DVD in Canada!

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Christian wrote:

: Gosh, I had no idea that a film could be released in Canada but not the U.S. ::blush:: I thought "North American release," which is the term I'm accustomed to seeing, meant that a film was released everywhere in North America, or nowhere.

Imperialist! :)

Of course, most of the time, that IS what "North American release" seems to mean, because most films are either produced by Americans, or they are sold to American distributors who then farm out the Canadian distribution to someone else. But yes, it does happen sometimes that non-American, non-Canadian films are sold to Canadian distributors before American distributors pick them up. Hence, e.g., Shooting Dogs, a British film produced in 2005, was released in Canada in 2006 and then, under a new name (Beyond the Gates), in the United States in 2007. And hence, as per this thread, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days was released in Canada in 2007 and in the United States in 2008.

: HEY, I just Googled and discovered that this film is already out on DVD in Canada!

Hmmm, so it is. Came out three weeks ago, apparently.

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This is in no particular order yet, but here is what I got:

Silent Light

The Visitor

Son of Rambow

Aleksandra

4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days

My Winnipeg

Le voyage du ballon rouge

Le graine et le mullet

Still Life

En la ciudad de Sylvia

This is a really tough list to make because it leaves out The Band's Visit, Heartbeat Detector, WALL-E, Encounters at the End of the World, In Bruges, Ostrov, Man on Wire and a few others. Lots of great stuff this year. Plus, I haven't seen a documentary that has affected more than Taxi to the Darkside for a long time, so I am not sure how to work that one in.

I really wish I could have seen Ballast this year.

Edited by MLeary

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Still haven't seen:

The Wrestler, Benjamin Button, Wendy and Lucy, The Reader, Captain Abu Raed, Revolutionary Road...

...for starters.

But for now, here are my TOP TEN, and ANOTHER TEN.

TOP TEN (in no particular order yet)

  • Flight of the Red Balloon
  • 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days
  • Ostrov (The Island)
  • Silent Light
  • Shotgun Stories
  • Synecdoche, New York
  • Syndromes and a Century
  • Up the Yangtze
  • WALL-E

NEXT TEN (no particular order)

  • Man on Wire
  • U23D
  • The Dark Knight
  • Ballast
  • In Bruges
  • Encounters at the End of the World
  • Doubt
  • A Christmas Tale
  • The Band's Visit
  • The Visitor

On January 1, I plan to post my 2008 list, and revised versions of all lists back through 2000, at lookingcloser.org.

Edited by Overstreet

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Among the several 2008 New York releases that I will make an effort to see before year's end, the only two that I have high expectations for are THE CLASS and THE WRESTLER; I have low expectations for FROST/NIXON, BENJAMIN BUTTON, REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, THE READER and WENDY AND LUCY, though reportedly GRAN TORINO could be a camp masterpiece if watched drunk. So, this is only my Top 10 right now, but I don't expect too much change.

1. 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS (Cristian Mungiu, Romania)

2. SILENT LIGHT (Carlos Reygadas, Mexico/Holland)

3. RACHEL GETTING MARRIED (Jonathan Demme, USA)

4. THE DARK KNIGHT (Christopher Nolan, USA)

5. WOMAN ON THE BEACH (Hong Sang-soo, South Korea)

6. ELITE SQUAD (Jose Padilha, Brazil)

7. MY WINNIPEG (Guy Maddin, Canada)

8. TROPIC THUNDER (Ben Stiller, USA)

9. HAPPY-GO-LUCKY (Mike Leigh, Britain)

10. A CHRISTMAS TALE (Arnaud Desplechin, France)

Runners-up: STUCK (Stuart Gordon, Canada); KIT KITTREDGE: AMERICAN GIRL (Patricia Rozema, USA); BURN AFTER READING (Joel and Ethan Coen, USA); HANCOCK (Peter Berg, USA); THE EDGE OF HEAVEN (Fatih Akin, Germany/Turkey); THE DUCHESS OF LANGEAIS (Jacques Rivette, France); CHICAGO 10 (Brett Morgen, USA); DAYS OF DARKNESS (Denys Arcand, Canada)

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My caveats: Still haven't seen The Visitor, The Class, My Winnipeg ... and several others that will jostle this list down the road.

1. Silent Light

2. Wall-E

3. The Wrestler

4. Rachel Getting Married

5. The Flight of the Red Balloon

6. Tropic Thunder

7. Revolutionary Road

8. Happy-Go-Lucky

9. A Christmas Tale

10. Changeling

11. Be Kind Rewind

12. The Fall

13. In Bruges

14. Speed Racer

15. Man on Wire

16. Doubt

17. W.

18. Che

19. Frost/Nixon

20. Let the Right One In

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Happy New Year film lovers!

I've heard some reviewers complain that this has been a bad year for film - some of the same reviewers that think a film can't be art unless it's edgy and vile. But if you love films that move and inspire you or films that are true expressions of the filmmaker's artistic vision (even if they make you work for it) - then this was a great year for film!

It is a pleasure to present Reel Inspiration's MOST INSPIRING FILMS OF 2008. This list is compiled of films have been promoted through our reviews on Reel Inspiration's blogs. Diverse films with entertaining, powerful stories that uplift, challenge, give hope or inspire. Some weight has been given to films that are particular relevant to the issues of our time.

I realize that there are many definitions and opinions on what makes an inspiring film. I would love to hear them! That's why I'm giving you a chance to share your favorite inspiring films. Please, take a moment to vote for your five favorites on the survey in the right column on www.reelinspiration.blogspot.com. This is important because it gives me an idea of what kind of films you would like to see reviewed. You are also encouraged to share your insights and opinions in the comment section. The survey is made up of films that Reel Inspiration friends and members have recommended on our myspace, facebook, and blogspot pages. (And some well reviewed films that I haven't had a chance to see because they haven't screened in Tucson yet.)

Please, enjoy the list of my favorite inspiring films of 2008 and take a minute to vote for your favorites too. www.reelinspiration.blogspot.com

Movie blessings in the New Year!

Jana Segal

Reel Inspiration's MOST INSPIRING FILMS OF 2008

10. Happy Go Lucky

9. Synecdoche, New York

8. Under the Same Moon (LA MISMA LUNA)

7. Slumdog Millionaire

6. The Bands Visit

5. The Visitor

4. The Secret Life of Bees

3. Frost/Nixon

2. Starting Out In the Evening

1. Milk

10. Director Mike Leigh is known for using improv to develop his scripts and to get natural dialogue and performances out of his actors. His film, "Happy Go Lucky" goes beyond that. It had me thinking after I left the theatre. How many current comedies can you say that about?

9. Charlie Kaufman's film, "Synecdoche, New York," is as challenging as the name. Kaufman literally creates a whole world and realizes his uncompromised (though somewhat depressing) creative vision. Some of the images stayed with me for days and I had real a longing to see it again.

8. The touching film, "Under the Same Moon" puts a human face on the heated debate about illegal immigrants and border issues.

7. "Slumdog Millionaire" was hard for me to sit through - watching all those horrific scenes of Indian slum children being abused. But the highly innovative story builds to a strong ending with the worthy theme of how good triumphs over adversity when you stay on your true path.

5 and 6. Music transcends racial differences and initiates human connections in, "The Visitor" and "The Bands Visit." "The Visitor" also reminds us that kindness is it's own reward - earning it the number 5 spot.

4. "The Secret Life of Bees" is a coming of age story set in the South during the Civil Rights Movement. A runaway white girl learns to cope with the painful truth and find forgiveness through the unconditional love of this uniquely liberated black family. I wanted to stay in the world of this heartwarming film and join the family.

3. "Frost/Nixon" is based on the famous news special in which English talk show host, Frost, tried to coax a confession out of Nixon for his part in Watergate. This is a particularly timely piece since many Americans can relate the feeling of losing faith in our government. I found myself rooting for this second rate talk show host to convince the intellectually superior Nixon to finally take responsibility for the cover up and hurting the American people. Compelling writing and acting. I wasn't watching actors, I was watching Frost and Nixon.

2. "Starting Out in the Evening." Andrew Wagner's sheer love of writing radiates in this deep and touching adult drama set in the dying literary world. It might be because I'm a writer, but this film lives in my heart.

1. Harvey Milk's life as the first openly gay elected official is inspiring enough. But actor Sean Penn (living the role of Harvey Milk), writer Dustin Lance Black, and director Gus Van Sant elevate this picture from a biopic to art.

ENJOY!

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1 - Defiance

2 - The Wrestler

3 - Gran Torino

4 - The Dark Knight

5 - Wall-E

6 - The Wire (Season Five)

7 - Stone of Destiny

8 - Pride and Glory

9 - Two Lovers

10 - Goodbye, Solo

11 - Bottle Shock

12 - Wendy and Lucy

13 - Body of Lies

14 - Leatherheads

15 - Seven Pounds

16 - John Adams (Miniseries)

17 - In Bruges

18 - Generation Kill (Miniseries)

19 - Get Smart

20 - Phoebe in Wonderland

21 - The Stoning of Soraya M.

22 - Cadillac Records

23 - Summer Hours

24 - Forgetting Sarah Marshall

25 - Doubt

26 - Marley & Me

27 - The Forbidden Kingdom

28 - The Bank Job

29 - Shine A Light

30 - Choke

Still To See List (25 films): 35 Shots of Rum, A Christmas Tale, The Beaches of Agnès, Birdsong, The Class, Ballast, Departures, Happy-Go-Lucky, Hunger, Lake Tahoe, Let the Right One In, Liverpool, Lorna's Silence, Man on Wire, Ponyo, Rachel Getting Married, Red Like the Sky, Revanche, The Secret Life of Bees, Séraphine, Slumdog Millionaire, The Song of Sparrows, Standard Operating Procedure, Still Walking, Surfwise

Edited by Persiflage

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